TENEBRÆ IN PERPETVVM – ANOREXIA OBSCURA

Band: Tenebrae in Perpetuum
Title: Anorexia Obscura
Label: Debemur Morti Productions
Release date: 30 August 2019
Country: Italy
Format reviewed: High Quality Digital Promo

“Everything prepared for the lobotomy?”

It has been ten years since the last full-length release by Italian black metal project TENEBRAE IN PERPETUUM. But, since the bands name literally translates to “darkness forever”, it was only a matter of time until Atratus, the main creative force behind the band, returned, now supported by Chimsicrin on drums. Their new album “Anorexia Obscura” will be out on Debemur Morti on August 30th.

Right away the album got my attention through the disturbing cover artwork. The absurd, disturbing illustration, reminiscent of medical artwork from the renaissance, already sent chills down my spine, something that I would continuously experience throughout the record’s runtime.

“Dissonanze mentali” (mental dissonance) starts off the album with piercing feedback noise, something that Atratus plays with on multiple occasions. Very mechanical sounding electronics then follow, after which a wall of blast beats and very classic black metal riffing commence. Once the vocals set in, I knew this record was going to be special. Delivered in Italian, as usual with the band, Atratus’ screams are completely crazy and unhinged! They also seemed to grow even more desperate as the track went on, meanwhile, the guitars communicate feelings of complete misanthropy! Progressing through the track, a good amount of change keeps the sound fresh and kept my interest awake. During the second half the bass especially stood out to me, very present in the albums mix, it enhanced the sound, offering a very good texture, standing in contrast with pounding drums and the sharp, cold guitar tone.

Demented groans, doomy drums and very industrial sounding electronics open the album’s title track “Anorexia obscura” (obscure anorexia). The onset of the echoey and tortured screams is then followed by sharp, cutting guitars while the electronics keep lingering in the background. The track has a very eerie & disturbing atmosphere, this is particularly noticeable in the electronic outro, which sounds extremely distorted, disordered and uncanny. “Oscillazione ipnotica profonda” (deep hypnotic oscillation), after a very brutal start, features a high electronic drone that persists throughout the first part of the track. The second half of the track is the real standout though, in which jumpy guitars, blast beats and sinister bass take over, a definite highlight of the album!

The next track, “L’epoca oscura del caos” (the dark age of chaos), is fast, chaotic and absolutely mental! Jumpy, oftentimes layered guitars, constant change progressing the song further, vocals that are fuelled with even more aggression than before, it created images of a mental patient outbreak in my head, which initiates the title-giving dark age of chaos.

“Nero, oscuro concetto di assoluto” (black, dark concept of the absolute) is a total onslaught of a track. Extremely tortured vocals, buzzing, chainsaw-like guitars reminiscent of something out of a BLUT AUS NORD song and piercing electronic noise make up its first half. Around the middle of the track, TENEBRAE IN PERPETUUM introduce a persisting electronic beep, having a clinical, yet very primitive quality to it, further developing the “insane asylum”-concept that my head had already constructed previously. “Criogenia letale” (lethal cryogenics) is were the intentional use of feedback noise returns, constantly penetrating your eardrums throughout. The track also has a synth beat, that I found to be very Carpenter-ish, persistent all across.

“Silicio freddo” (cold silicone) closes the album with one of its definite highlights. Starting again with piercing noise, it soon introduces an uncanny, disjointed synth-piece, after which a slower part has a chilling drill sound in the background, overall very disturbing… Further unsettling was the return of the demented, pained moans, even more prevalent here than on the albums second track. I further built the “insane asylum”-concept in my head: This track is an aural lobotomy, leaving you broken and devastated by the end of the album. No reconciliation, just complete and total misery…

The albums mix turned out very good in my opinion. The production is rough and dirty, fitting the demented soundscape that was surely intended by the band. Every puzzle piece introduced, the sharp guitars, fast or slow drum passages, ominous bass, cold and uncanny electronics or noise elements, they all fit together. All these additions to the standard black metal formula are what lift the band above the competition… this leads to a very cohesive and compelling record, very much a recommendation and highlight for black metal this year, Italian experimental black metal to be reckoned with!

After a 10-year hiatus TENEBRAE IN PERPETUUM return stronger than ever with “Anorexia Obscura”, a disturbingly strange, yet very coherent album, that evokes imagery of primitive, filthy insane asylums and other crude medical facilities long forgotten, or rather repressed from the memories of the public. You, the listener, experience these hellholes through the eyes of the feeble souls held hostage, rendered powerless through torturous methods, you will be forced to endure their suffering alongside them.

This album is not suitable for the faint of heart. Be prepared for trve misanthropy and eternal misery! 9.5/10 by the trve Medvson

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